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The Crowded North-Atlantic Skies

Add Canada’s WestJet to the growing list of low-fare airlines heading from North America to Europe next summer.

Daily flights will operate Toronto-St. John’s (Newfoundland)-Dublin from June 15 through October 5. WestJet is featuring through fares from other Canadian cities with connecting schedules at Toronto and St. John’s, and it highlights the extensive available onward European flights on Ryanair. It will use 737-700s with its regular configuration of tight regular economy and “plus” seats with a few extra inches of legroom and improved cabin service.

Introductory fares, available through December 4, start at $900 CAD for round-trip flights in July. By comparison, Expedia currently shows the lowest Toronto-Dublin fare at $1,035 CAD for that time period. But you can expect some changes as the competition increases: Air Canada’s Rouge and Aer Lingus will both fly Toronto-Dublin nonstop this summer.

The new service will be much faster than any competitive service from much of Eastern Canada—especially the Maritime Provinces. But with its uncomfortable 737 planes, the stop in Newfoundland, and the very short four-plus-hour overnight flight time to Ireland, WestJet will have to undercut the other airlines’ nonstop fares by a substantial margin to attract many Toronto travelers.

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